ZBT punished for hazing

BY CARISSA MILLER
Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 8, 2005

The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity has been suspended from the Interfraternity Council after an investigation found the fraternity guilty of hazing, the council announced yesterday.

The suspension comes after the Hazing Task Force and the Greek Activities Review Panel investigated two separate complaints of hazing brought against ZBT. The investigations produced sufficient evidence that the fraternity violated Greek hazing rules, IFC spokesman Jon Krasnov said.

"The IFC reaffirms its position that hazing is inconsistent with the values and principles of Greek life and will not be tolerated in the Greek community at the University," Krasnov said in a statement released yesterday.

In keeping with its bylaws, GARP, which conducts hearings and imposes sanctions on houses that violate Greek social and hazing policies, has imposed several sanctions on the fraternity, said Chris Haughee, assistant director of the University's Office of Greek Life.

In addition to the one-year suspension prohibiting ZBT from attending IFC meetings and from participating in events and programs of the Greek community, as well as a public admonishment at last night's IFC meeting, ZBT must develop and facilitate a GARP-approved hazing education program. This program will be presented to the members of the IFC and the Panhellenic Association next year, Haughee said.

Haughee said that at the end of the suspension period, GARP will hold a hearing to determine whether ZBT has complied with the conditions of the suspension. If it is found that ZBT failed to comply with the sanctions, GARP can extend the suspension period.

While specific details of the violations remain confidential, the hazing involved humiliation and excessive eating, drinking and exercise, Dean of Students Sue Eklund said.

The hazing victims were pledges, she added.

Haughee said GARP and the IFC have notified ZBT's national organization of the campus chapter's hazing violations. The national organization, however, has not imposed further restrictions on the house, he said.

The allegations brought against ZBT are the first against any organization in the Greek community this semester, Eklund said.

"The Greek community has worked hard to reduce, if not eliminate, hazing this year, with their educational website and programs for new members," Eklund said. "I think it's had a good impact, because in addition to few accusations, there have been many fewer rumors about hazing this year."

Amber Leigh Lowden, a member of the Hazing Task Force, agreed.

"I think we are taking important steps to let the community know that there are more effective ways to welcome new members to an organization than hazing," Lowden said. "People have been more vocal about hazing, and for the campus to be so alert now is very encouraging, especially after last semester."

Two Greek organizations - the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority and the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity - also faced charter revocations from their national organizations last semester because of hazing and risk management allegations. Last February, GARP also suspended Sigma Alpha Epsilon from the IFC and placed the fraternity on an additional 15 weeks of social probation due to the organization's continued violations of the Greek social policy.